We Learn More From Setbacks Than Successes, And Even Mr. Miyagi Had To Learn To Suck It Up!

Hi folks, welcome!

Greg, Tara and FitOldDog

The guy on the left (Greg – about 45) bet the guy on the right (FitOldDog – 70) that he would finish one hour ahead of FitOldOld in the 2014 Eagleman Half Ironman in June. FitOldDog’s first guess was 1:20:00, but this could be close as Greg needs to learn how to pace himself, but I’m getting older every day. Tara was one of the witnesses to the handshake – on the line is one large crab dinner after the race. I paid up, and grew up (eventually).

Do you remember Mr. Miyagi, the all-wise mentor of the Karate Kid, who still had trouble being outdone by the neophyte, Daniel? There are great lessons to be learned from that movie, which I enjoyed a lot. You’re never too old to make the same mistakes over and over and over again, until you don’t.

Yesterday I finished the 2014 Eagleman Half Ironman, walking the last 7 miles of the run – a chronically tight calf, led to poor gait, which resulted in ITBS (ileotibial band syndrome) in the other leg, and Bob’s your uncle, I was forced to walk. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t dehydrated. My nutrition, hydration and electrolyte plan, learned from watching my son at the Texas Ironman a few weeks ago, worked like a charm. I had plenty of energy to run, but I was forced to walk, and I was pissed.

FitOldDog's race top, with website fitolddog.com

I was surprised how many people said they like my top, with my central website. Thanks Marsha, for telling me to wear my brand. Logo is on the front.

The last time I was this mad about my performance I refused to attend the roll-down meeting at the Lake Placid Ironman and lost a chance for Kona! It rolled on by me – you have to be there. Unexpected consequences, but I did it again, got mad, just like Mr. Miyagi.

When I arrived, walking, at the finish, Greg, for whom I now had to buy a crab dinner based on a bet, was delighted with his race, and his exuberance made my attitude even worse (“Beginner luck?”). I managed to pull myself together and have a great crab dinner with Greg and Tara, but I was still in a funk when I went to bed in my tent.

Bob Scott, triathlete.

Bob Scott beat me again, at age 84. Remarkable guy and a gentleman. A true athlete, doing it for the love of the sport. With permission by FitOldDog.

Funny thing, the next morning I awoke to find my body was all warm and happy, and my dark mood had passed. I thought of all the great things that happened in the race, like introducing Howard, the guy who won my age group in the Louisville Ironman last year, to Bob Scott (yes, he beat me again at age 84 – damn!), the way people liked my race top design (not over-stated; thanks for that idea, Marsha), and all the kind comments of other people on the course concerning my age (written on my left calf).

Growing up is a continual learning process, as we have to digest disappointment each and every time. With practice we get better at it. Like Mr. Miyagi, I had to let it go and be happy with another’s success.

Greg impressed the sh*t out of me. Way to go, Greg!


Kevin aka FitOldDog



  1. Love that bib! (Need to get Livestrong to sponsor you; hmmm.) I hope you didn’t write your age on the calf that tightened up – don’t need to remind it! The anger was hiding your sadness, disappointment. Glad to hear you are in a better mood now.

    • Yep! It goes with the territory. Now to plan for Mont-Tremblant Ironman in August, following checkup at the Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday. The disappointment fades quickly, and onto the next one. I think that is because it is more about training than racing. Cheers, Kevin

  2. Kevin, you proved an excellent mentor and motivator! I could not have performed like I did without your advice, motivation, cajoling and teasing, and sage advice. I’m going to rest for a few days here, gather my thoughts, and see when and where the next race might be. Again, THANK YOU!

    • Hi Greg, your appreciation is very much appreciated, but YOU did all the work, I just made random suggestions, but I’m glad you liked the Bento Box. cheers, kevin

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.